Monday 12 April 2021
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N$2m bailout ends Rundu water woes

Rundu residents will breathe a sigh of relief when NamWater opens the taps of the town that were closed, following accounting failures coupled with poor revenue collection systems within the Rundu Town Council(RTC).
The town consumes water worth N$2 million monthly, NamWater however cautioned that “water will be reconnected and Rundu will be allowed to have water for the next three months”.
This means the town has to settle its N$60 million water bill or risk another closure.
Namwater has taken a hard stance against defaulters in recent months as it looks to bolster its revenue generation capacity.
The Ministry of Urban and Rural Development will pay the first amount of N$2 million directly to NamWater.
“The RTC will be required to create a ring fenced water account to ensure that money paid for water use by the consumer is strictly used to settle the water account of NamWater,” reads the statement.
Rundu had an agreement with the parastatal to pay N$1 million a month towards the N$60 million debt, but it failed to honor its commitment.
The cash-strapped town is in a cache-22 situation because, coupled with NamWater, it owes the taxman and a host of other service providers at least N$115 million.
Besides the daily water problems, slow infrastructure development, refuse removal shambles and inadequate land provision are some of the thorny issues hampering the town’s growth.
The town’s leadership claims the high water bill is partly due to the fact that a sizeable number of Rundu residents cannot afford to pay for municipal services, especially the elderly.
According to Council documents seen by The Patriot, RTC owes companies such as the RCC, Stubernrauch, Schwarting Land, Ndakalimwe Investment, MPP Civils, Bicon, Flip More Investment, Tren-Tyre, Telecom, and /Ae //Gams networks an amount totaling N$5.9 million.
In December 2017, official figures indicated that NamWater was owed N$800 million in water bills by the Namibian public.
The millions are mostly owed by public entities including Government ministries and local authorities.
NamWater is one of the few parastatals that do not get any Government subsidies.
A 2017 report published by the National Council stated that government and local authorities owed NamWater over N$400 million.
The rest of the money owed is from use at water points, households and accrued interest.

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